Dog owners in a northern Spanish city who hope they will go unpunished when they leave pet's excrement behind on the street, could soon be tracked down and fined using DNA analysis.
In a collaboration between Tarragona officials and the local Rovira i Virgili University, a dog DNA database will be created and used to pinpoint and fine offending owners, Ivana Martinez, councillor for public spaces, told the Cadena Ser radio station.
She said that it is currently difficult for the police to enforce rules on dog mess, unless police are "in the right place at the right time".
Those found guilty will have to foot the bill for DNA testing on top of a fine, she said.
A similar plan is being piloted in the east London borough of Barking and Dagenham, where dogs are being swabbed for a new database.
The borough hopes the initiative will deter owners from leaving their dog’s mess behind, by banning people from walking their pets in parks and other public spaces unless they sign up to the DNA registry.
The pilot scheme is being rolled out in some 27 parks this summer, and will see culprits handed £80 fines.
By April 2016, it will be compulsory for owners to have a microchip implanted in their dogs, which will hold an ID, DNA data, and information about the owner – enabling enforcement officers to carry out spot-checks in parks.
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